Skip to main content

2016 Presidential Candidates Views on Marijuana Legalization

2016 Presidential Election and Marijuana

2016 Presidential Candidates Views on Marijuana Legalization

With the current presidential candidates dwindling down in numbers, we here at The Greenery in Durango, Colorado have to wonder what changes could affect our recreational marijuana dispensary with the general election right around the corner.
Let’s take a look at the three candidates who are still in the race to see where they stand on the legalization of marijuana:

Donald Trump (R)

He could be one of the most interesting candidates to run for president of the United States to date. Trump’s view on the legalization of marijuana has changed just a few times:
Back in 1990 at a speech in Miami, Florida he once said We’re losing badly on the war on drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.”Sarasota Herald- Tribune April 14, 1990.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference in June 2015 in discussing the legalization of marijuana, Trump stated “I say it’s bad. Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think it’s bad, and I feel strongly about it,” further stating “[T]hey have got a lot of problems going on right now in Colorado. Some big problems.” Washington Post, June, 2015
More recently Trump expressed his opinion of medical marijuana legalization versus recreational marijuana legalization. After Nevada legalized medical marijuana in October 2015, Trump was speaking at a rally outside of Reno and stated “Marijuana is such a big thing… I think medical should happen – right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.”Washington Post, October 29, 2015
So where does Trump stand? On the Bill O’Reilly show in February 2016 when asked about his position on marijuana legalization in Colorado:  “I would, I would really want to think about that one Bill because in some ways, I think it’s good and in other ways, it’s bad.” – Bill O’Reilly show, February 10, 2016
All in all, it seems Trump supports each state’s right to vote on medical marijuana, but as far recreational use and legalization goes, it’s hard to tell officially where Trump stands.
Thus, we at The Greenery agree with the Marijuana Policy Project and give him a C+ rating for his views on the legalization of marijuana.

Hillary Clinton (D)

Hillary Clinton has a more solid stance, but will not firmly state whether she supports or opposes marijuana legalization. She does believe marijuana needs to be dropped from a Federal Schedule I Drug to a Schedule II so it can be further researched. – Claflin University on Nov. 7, 2015
Hillary historically indicated that she wants to take the “wait and see” approach to the legalization of marijuana.  She once stated: “I’m a big believer in acquiring evidence, and I think we should see what kind of results we get, both from medical marijuana and from recreational marijuana, before we make any far-reaching conclusions…We need more studies. We need more evidence. And then we can proceed.”  – CNN Politics, October 16, 2014
When recently ask if she has taken a stance on marijuana legalization, Hillary responded “No. I think that we have the opportunity through the states that are pursuing recreational marijuana to find out a lot more than we know today. I do support the use of medical marijuana, and I think even there we need to do a lot more research so that we know exactly how we’re going to help people for whom medical marijuana provides relief.” 2016 Democratic Presidential Debate, October 13, 2015
In addition, Hillary indicated her support for Colorado and said: “I really believe it’s important that states like Colorado lead the way, so that we can learn what works and what doesn’t work. And I would certainly not want the federal government to interfere with the legal decision made by the people of Colorado, and enforced by your elected officials, as to how you should be conducting this business that you have approved.” MSNBC, October 14, 2015
While Hillary doesn’t seem to have committed to a particular stance on the legalization of marijuana, she has recently said that she supports states moving toward medical marijuana and moving toward legalizing it for recreational use. – Jimmy Kimmel Live, March 24, 2016.
Hillary’s support for the state of Colorado’s legalization of marijuana is a positive sign despite her failure to take an official stance on the legalization of marijuana at the federal level.
We again agree with the Marijuana Policy Project’s rating of a B for Hillary as it relates to her viewpoints on the legalization of marijuana.

Bernie Sanders (D)

Bernie’s has “burned” before: the politician admitted that he tried marijuana twice in his life, ultimately deciding it wasn’t for him. – Washington Post, June 2, 2015
As of now, Bernie Sanders supports each state’s decision to legalize marijuana medical and recreational marijuana use. With that, he also supports federal legalization of marijuana in addition to lifting the federal prohibition, allowing states to decide whether to legalize.  This would also allow marijuana businesses and entrepreneurs to have access to the banking system. – Vice News, October 29, 2015
Bernie is also proclaimed to be a co-sponsor for the Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015, which provides a safe harbor for financial institutions providing depository services to legitimate marijuana businesses. – US Congress, July 9, 2015
Check out Bernie’s website for further information on his stance regarding the marijuana legalization and the war on drugs.
Given Bernie’s consistent stance on the legalization of marijuana for both recreational and medical use, Bernie gets an A rating from The Greenery when it comes to his views on this issue.